When Do I Need To Stop Breastfeeding?
Linda Wechter-Ashkin PhD NCSP BC-TMHC ADHD CCSP
When Rikki was about 5 one of Dave’s friends and their wife and son came to visit. Dave and his friend, who is also a doctor, went to do doctor things and his wife and I decided to take the kids to the zoo. We had a nice day but later in the afternoon the little boy became very cranky and asked to leave. On the way back home, our friend asked if she could sit in the back seat with her son. At that time, we were still pish posh about kids having to sit in the back seat so I said sure, and put Alex’s car seat in the front seat and Rikki in the back. About 10 minutes into the ride Rikki looked absolutely terrified or confused or both. I asked what was wrong, and she said nothing, but I knew better, and figured we could talk about it when we got home. A little while in I had noticed that the little boy had quieted down, so when I stopped at the light, I turned around to see if he was sleeping and he was not. He was breast feeding. Since the only person Rikki had ever seen being breast fed was Alex and he was 2 months old, her little mind was having trouble processing this new information. Later that night when I was feeding Alex, Rikki first asked why that lady was breastfeeding her big son and then a moment later asked why I was no longer breastfeeding her.
At first Rikki was appalled by something she had never seen before and then shifted to wanting to know why she was being excluded from this delicacy. I had always said that breast feeding was for babies so to her that was a rule, and now it seemed that all of the facts had changed. Maybe her mom really didn’t know what she was talking about. I feel like that often happens when well-meaning Christians start talking about what God likes and doesn’t like. For a seasoned Christian who has read the bible it’s a little easier to sort out what they believe to be the truth from what doesn’t make much sense and they know where to go to fact check. But for a new Christian, or someone who has not ready the bible these Christian’s can be very dangerous. Let’s say someone just visited church with a friend and had an amazing welcoming experience. They listened to the pastor preach about the loving, forgiving, heart of God and they are on fire. Now the next week another friend invites them to church and when they show up in jeans and a T-shirt, they are told that what they are wearing is not proper church attire. The fire goes out and they remember why they never wanted part of this God thing in the first place. It now seems like that first pastor really didn’t know what he was talking about. I pray that as a Christian you will always reach out to others with a heart of love, not of criticism. No judgment, no absolute rules, just love. Otherwise, they will feel excluded from the delicacy rather than included in the final feast.